Around the South for Jan. 14: OK, VA & NC

Oklahoma: Fallin pushes education, prison reform and health. In her second inauguration as the Sooner State’s first woman governor, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) noted that the state now spends 51 cents of every dollar on education, but declared, “We need to do more.” She lamented the “over-incarceration” problem: Too many drug and alcohol abusers in prison, instead of treatment. And set a goal of reducing the state’s heart disease deaths by 25% by 2025 ……. Virginia: McAuliffe pushes liberal social agenda. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) wants the state to substitute “spouse” for husband or wife in state regulations, reflecting the reality of legal same-sex marriage, saying it will send a signal that “Virginia is welcome to members of the LGBT community,” reports the Washington Post. McAuliffe also wants to repeal the ultra-sound requirement for women seeking abortions and to reinstate the one-a-month limit on gun purchases ……. North Carolina: House Majority Leader resigns. State Rep. Edgar Starnes (R), the Majority Leader of the state House of Representatives, resigned abruptly on Monday. In a news release, Starnes said he will be joining the state treasurer’s office as senior policy advisor and legislative liaison. He has served in the state House for 20 years